(follow-up to the brilliant piece by J.Q. Tomanek)
1. Help him get to Heaven. This is the most important job for every Catholic woman. It’s your job to help him get to Heaven – not by being the thorn that sanctifies him, but by being the companion who walks next to him and encourages him when the journey is hard.
2. Bake for him. We’ve all heard the adage that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. It’s true. I’m not sure why food=love in the male brain, but it sure seems to. Cooking for a man makes him feel loved and cared for. It doesn’t have to be hard. Get a box of brownie mix and follow the directions; then watch his eyes light up. Men are simple. Women want romantic dinners out; men are thrilled with a warm pan of brownies and a fork.
3. Make the bed. I don’t care if the rest of the house looks like it’s been ransacked, a made bed somehow makes it feel 100% cleaner. I know he can make it. I know you’re not the maid and that you have other better things to do. I know he was the last one up this morning and it’s his turn. Do it anyway. It only takes a few minutes. Offer it up for all the flaws you have that he chooses not to notice.
4. Sex. Yes, please. Men need physical affection. Lots of it. It helps them bond with their spouses, relieves stress, is fun, and strengthens a marriage. Sex is a physical renewal of your wedding vows where you give yourselves completely to each other. What marriage doesn’t need that? Chase him around the bedroom a time or two. It’s good for you both.
5. Play with him. Most men are still little boys at heart. Don’t neglect his fun side. Play sports. Challenge him to a video game or Monopoly. Tease him. Tag him, yell “you’re it!”, and run. Bring out the playfulness in him. You’ll be glad you did.
6. Listen to the silent “I love you.” Men show their love in practical ways. They like to take care of the women they love. Let him open the door. Recognize that making sure the oil has been changed and that the timing belt isn’t slipping in your car is his way of saying “I love you and I want you to be safe.” Men don’t often show love in poetry and flowers. They show it by making sure that annoying drip in the kitchen sink stops dripping and that your tires aren’t flat. Hear the words he is acting out loud and clear.
7. Tell him what you want. He’s not a mind reader. Don’t set him up for failure by making him guess.
8. Don’t carry your baggage around. Get rid of that stuff. You’ll feel so much lighter. Go to Confession regularly.
9. Encourage him. Men spend a lot of time out in the world going it alone. They are expected to suck it up and soldier on. That’s exhausting mentally and spiritually. Speak kindly and let him know he’s not alone. Tell him you’re proud of him and to be his wife. He needs to know that you’re his biggest fan, so tell him. Often.
10. Stand beside him. You don’t always have to see eye to eye on everything, but you do need to be looking in the same direction. The things that are important to him may not make any sense to you at all. That’s because he’s not a woman. Thank goodness, right? Make sure that you both have your eyes on the same goal, Heaven, and then stay by his side through whatever life brings.
11. Pray. Pray with him. Pray for him. He needs the spiritual support. There is a war on men in our culture. It’s on TV, in books, in movies, everywhere we turn. Men are being degraded and reduced to the sitcom buffoon. It’s hard to be a good and moral man these days. He’s under attack. Counter it the best way you can, with prayer.
12. Give him the gift of silence. You know when you ask him “What are you thinking?” and he says “Nothing.” Well, guess what? He really means it. While women have brains that never stop, men don’t have that. They have the beautiful ability to sit in silence and not think. It’s a gift for them, a respite from the tumult of the day. Share that silence with him. No talking, just silent companionship. Let him enjoy that you’re there without requiring anything from him. Curl up next to him on the couch or in bed and just be with him. Which often times will take you right back to #4. Because when he’s not thinking about nothing, sex is probably on his mind!